Asha was pleased to welcome Volunteer Doctors from the UK to our slum based clinics as well as at the Asha Polyclinic. Health being one of the major concerns across the Asha communities; it was a wonderful opportunity for slum residents to avail specialist healthcare services.
Early February Dr Elaine Smith, a Rheumatologist and Dr Kate Milne, a General Practitioner (GP) volunteered for a week. They also conducted a workshop wherein Dr Smith spoke about diabetes and rheumatology cases while Dr Milne focused on Family Planning and the importance of nuclear families.
Dr Asha Sharma, a retired GP volunteered across various Asha Clinics for a period of four weeks. Being from the Indian origin, she was extremely comfortable in attending patients and understanding their problems. During her last week, she conducted a workshop for Asha’s healthcare staff addressing the day-to-day problems they face. “It has been a very humbling experience because despite all the illiteracy and poverty amongst all these people [slums residents], they are grateful for whatever little they have,” recollects Dr Asha.
During the end of February, Dr Dick Hogben, a GP volunteered at Asha for two weeks. Having visited Asha in the previous years, he has been closely attached to the Asha staff and communities. Dr Dick is a highly motivated Asha Ambassador who has been supporting the work over the past many years. He also conducted a workshop for the Asha Staff focusing primarily on Blood Pressure and Hypertension.
Dr Deirdre Shawe, a Rheumatologist volunteered with Asha during the second week of March. She held clinics at our slum based centers as well as at the polyclinic. Dr Deirdre shares, “Things I will take home with me, having worked with Asha, are too contrasting. One that India is such a vast and seemingly chaotic country, but amongst this there is great generosity and great kindness and I have been made feel very welcome [at the Asha communities]. I would recommend others to work with Asha.”
The doctors’ dedication, care and concern for the patients were amazing. We sincerely appreciate their time and efforts as they worked tirelessly to make lives better for those living in the slums.